“I’m sure Colchester United will be fine this season” – says departing David Wright

David Wright

David Wright - Credit: Archant

David Wright believes that Colchester United, although woefully short of experience in the squad, will retain their League One status this season.

Loyal servant Wright has decided to hang up his boots, after 17 years as a professional and more than 500 senior games under his belt, to concentrate on a career in coaching.

The 34-year-old announced his decision on Wednesday evening, after a series of meetings with U’s boss Tony Humes.

Injury has restricted his involvement to just three substitute appearances this term and, with little prospect of landing a regular place in the starting line-up on his return to fitness, the ex-Ipswich Town utility man has decided to quit as a League One player.

“It’s a decision that I had been thinking about making for a while, for the last couple of months,” revealed Wright.

“I had some good meetings with Tony (Humes). I had been out of action for six or seven weeks, with a torn thigh, and even when I returned to fitness, I was unlikely to go straight back into the team.

“My role was going to change. It was going to be a supporting one instead, just playing the odd game when needed, so I feel that now is a good time for me to move on and concentrate on my coaching.

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“I’ve been working at the Ipswich Town Academy for a few years now, after signing for Colchester, and I have been more hands-on this season.

“I have all my badges, and I’ve been grateful to Bryan Klug (Academy Director) for giving me the chance to get the experience of coaching at Portman Road. I just need to get some more time on the grass.

“League One is a tough division, but although Colchester don’t have too much in the way of experience, in terms of players’ ages, I believe they have more than enough experience in the dressing room to come through.

“I think that Tony Humes and Richard Hall (assistant) are happy with what they have got. There’s a lot of quality in the squad, with youngsters like Tom Eastman and Alex Gilbey already having a lot of games under their belt.

“Although many of them are young players, they can still draw on experience, and I am sure they will be fine this season.

“I’m confident they can finish in mid-table, with a strong finish, and then build on that for the coming years,” added Wright.

Midfielder-cum-defender Wright’s current deal was due to expire next summer, but that contract has been cancelled by mutual agreement.

He began his career at Crewe, where he graduated from the youth team to blossom under long-serving manager Dario Gradi.

After making his debut as a raw 17-year-old, in a 2-0 away win at Norwich City as a late substitute in August 1997, Wright went on to make 211 league appearances for the Railwaymen. He eventually left Gresty Road in 2004, to enjoy further lengthy spells at Wigan, Ipswich, Crystal Palace and Colchester.

“I had a great start to my career at Crewe,” he said. “They got me in the team early, and that is Colchester’s policy as well.”

The U’s are away at MK Dons today.

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